Saturday, August 11, 2012

Kiwirail's future decisions will be made commercially...

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KiwiRail mulls Gisborne line, Clifford Bay

KiwiRail says its decision on the Gisborne regional line will be a commercial one and any decision about Clifford Bay is one for "NZ I.  Kiwirail would be advised to give due care and attention to its decisions - a future Labour-Greens government may differ, and force changes on the state enterprise. Kiwirail is also a significant employer.


KiwiRail's decision on the future of the regional line to Gisborne will be made on a commercial basis, chief executive Jim Quinn says.
Mr Quinn told TVNZ's Q+A programme on Sunday that the company was a linehaul operator and it was working through a decision on the regional line to Gisborne.
The line from Wairoa to Gisborne was closed after it was damaged by storms in March. State-owned KiwiRail has been assessing options for its future.
"We're working with agencies around us and we expect to be able to announce what the answer will be on that.
"Our responsibility is to look at the commercial aspects of the challenge. Our job is then to work with our shareholder and the agencies around them for them to cast the political or social lense over that."
Mr Quinn said KiwiRail had increased its market share in linehaul, having "grown the business 25 per cent".
"There is no doubt that getting the freight business right is what will create the sustainable railroad," he said.
"There is no other business that has the potential to put the margins in that we need."
The company had reduced the travel time between Auckland and Christchurch for freight by an hour.
He said a new ferry terminal at Clifford Bay at the top of the South Island, which would reduce travel time more, was a "NZ Inc-level" project and "somebody is working through what the business case would be".
Both road and rail freight operators would benefit if ferries between the North Island and South Island went to Clifford Bay rather than the current location of Picton.
KiwiRail has announced plans to axe 181 jobs and cut investment in its track network by $200 million during the next three years.

Acknowledgements: NZN

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